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  • 19

    Kennedy Move Deals Blow to Immigration Reform Plan
    Immigration; Posted on: 2008-12-09 20:13:18 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    Good news: Kennedy has given little consolation to his allies in the effort to pass sweeping legislation, a goal that critics deride as “amnesty” for illegal workers. (It IS amnesty -- Ed.)

    Sen. Edward Kennedy’s (D-Mass.) allies on immigration reform regard his departure from the Judiciary Committee as a withering blow to their cause and are searching for a new champion on the controversial issue.

    Many are interpreting his decision to focus on healthcare as a setback to legislation that would put millions of illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship. Kennedy’s own health has some speculating that the liberal icon sees healthcare as his best chance to augment his legacy while he battles brain cancer.

    “I think it’s more than possible that he’s gotten a little older and has health issues himself and that’s hit home,” said Gabriela Lemus, executive director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. “He’s probably thinking about his legacy and this is the last big thing.”

    Some see his decision to leave his post as chairman of the Judiciary Immigration subcommittee as a sign that Democrats will hold off on the topic in the 111th Congress.

    “I’ve had this conversation with a couple people and I would say that Kennedy’s loss from the Judiciary Committee is disappointing,” said Randel Johnson, vice president of labor, immigration and employee benefits at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which was a major supporter of Kennedy’s legislation. “It will adversely affect immigration reform going forward. It indicates the chances of comprehensive reform happening over the next few years are slim.”

    But an aide to Kennedy dismissed the notion that his boss would abandon immigration reform altogether, noting that Kennedy promised to remain involved.

    When Kennedy announced that he would step down from Judiciary and give up his gavel as chairman of the Immigration subcommittee, he said: “I remain deeply committed to civil rights, equal opportunities and immigration reform, and I will always be involved in those important debates and discussions.”


    News Source: the hill

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